Sunday, March 8, 2009

Random Rants & Reading

My local newspaper had a story last week about a guy who demanded his ring back. The ex-girlfriend refused. They argued. She punched him (twice), leaving the imprint of the ring on his face. Now she’s charged with assault.

I have to ask: who really commited a crime here? If the responding officer or the prosecutor had been female, maybe they’d have hauled the GUY's ass off to jail for refusing to take “no” for an answer. Demanding that a gift be returned is just bad manners. Women know this. I wish the newspaper would identify the guy in case anyone wanted to send a “Happy International Women’s Day to you, buddy” greeting like his ex-girlfriend did. What a waste of tax dollars, huh? If you want to read the update on what happened in court, click here.

Rant No. 2
Do you think stores, restaurants and oil companies have been ripping us off big time? All of a sudden they’re offering incentives and discounts to get us to spend money – and they’re still making a profit. Every time I pump gas into my car, I get mad when I remember paying $3.80 a gallon (and that Exxon Mobil made its largest profit in history last year).

Last week I bought a pair of brand-new, Land’s End all-weather $39.50 shoes for just $2.49. This is NOT a typo. Sears was selling them for $24.99, then put them on a 50 percent off sale (even though we still have enough snow that they're not officially past season), and if I signed up for the Sears 22.15 percent interest (!) credit card, they’d knock off another $10. I did, and paid off the $2.49 right there. Someone still made a profit on those shoes. When you see discounts like that on apparel, don't you wonder: Just HOW BIG was that markup? Have you gotten any great deals like that lately?

No Rant, Just Reading
Instead of continuing to rant, I thought I'd close by offering two great reading opportunities:
An interesting blog for food & household-related hints, including how to successfully store strawberries for days on end, (and written by a mystery writer) is

Below are the links for five mystery short stories nominated for this year’s “Agatha Awards” given in honor of the incomparable Agatha Christie. I’m proud to say my latest published story “Circulation” was submitted for consideration, although it didn’t make the final five. The finalists and the winners are chosen by the people who will be attending the mystery fan and writers’ conference “Malice Domestic” in May. Take a look. The stories are listed alphabetically by author. Tell me which one you think should win and I’ll let you know if the Malice folks agreed.

"The Night Things Changed" by Dana Cameron, Wolfsbane & Mistletoe (Penguin Group)

"Killing Time" by Jane Cleland, Alfred Hitchock Mystery Magazine - November 2008

"Dangerous Crossing" by Carla Coupe, Chesapeake Crimes 3 (Wildside Press)

"Skull and Cross-Examinations" by Toni L.P. Kelner, Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine - February 2008

"A Nice Old Guy" by Nancy Pickard, Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine - August 2008

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